Frank Auerbach b. 1931

Frank Auerbach is one of the most influential painters of the 20th century. Celebrated for his expressionistic portraits and cityscapes, Auerbach’s work is characterized by a rough impasto technique. He was born on April 29, 1931 in Berlin, Germany to Jewish parents and at seven years old was sent to Britain to escape Nazi persecution—his parents remaining behind, only to be killed in concentration camps before they could join their young son abroad. Auberbach went on to study at St. Martin’s School of Art in London and then at the Royal College of Art, developing his signature palette of bold colors and a distinctive, thickly applied painting style. In 1956, he received his first solo show at Beaux Arts Gallery, and by 1978, was the subject of a major retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in London. He represented Britain at the 1986 Venice Biennale, where he and his peer Sigmar Polke were jointly awarded the Gold Lion. As a popular and dedicated contemporary artist, he has several times been offered and refused knighthood. He continues to live and work in London, United Kingdom.